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Viewpoint Customers Gain Reliability, Scalability and Customer Satisfaction on Microsoft Azure
At Viewpoint, we have always strived — with every customer conversation, every employee engagement, and every product enhancement — to accelerate the adoption of technology in construction to help us all move the industry forward together. That focus has only increased in 2020, which has changed the pace of our technology delivery to meet your increasing technology needs.
Our customers trust us to build and manage the technology backbones of their construction operations. And, that’s why, as more and more contractors move to hosting those business-critical operations in the cloud, we needed a cloud provider that could live up to our demanding expectations.
Microsoft Makes the Move Easy
At the outset, moving from a trusted, but smaller, cloud provider to a larger solution like Azure seemed overwhelming. Working with Microsoft and partner WinWire, in just seven months, we migrated 889 customers to Azure. That also includes a staggering 663 terabytes of data. Viewpoint now hosts more than 21,000 users and nearly 1,880 servers in Azure.
Over the past year, the move to Azure has paid off for both Viewpoint and our customers. We increased uptime to 99.99%; we can now deploy and redeploy customers to closer regions, which is a huge value-add; we’ve been able to decrease costs and proactively measure profitability; and we have decreased the time it takes to migrate customer environments to the cloud from a couple of days to hours.
“Essentially, we can manage a broader set of technologies and larger volume of cloud assets more effectively because Azure took the complexity out of it,” said Viewpoint Senior Vice President of Product Development Dan Farner.
Azure Migration, Scalability and Backup Bring Big Customer Benefits
“The task seemed daunting at first,” said Viewpoint Senior Director of Product Management Greg Sikes. “But during the transformation process, Microsoft brought tools, technology, and a Gold Partner to the table that let us decrease the time it takes to move customers to the cloud at scale.”
Specifically, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Virtual Machines (VMs), incremental snapshots, Azure VPN gateway and cost management insights have been game-changers for Viewpoint – and ultimately, Viewpoint customers.
With Azure Site Recovery, migrating 663 terabytes of data from a 24/7 production environment was seamless. Azure Site Recovery made it easy to transfer data from nearly 1,880 virtual machines hosted across four data centers, and the bit-level copy capability ensured that the lift and shift data migration was reliable, fast, secure and cost efficient – with no data loss.
Incremental snapshots have also proven to be particularly beneficial when it comes to backups.
“In the hosted world, we stored backups on storage arrays and paid a premium for them,” said Farner. “The restore was more manual and took a lot of time, but with the incremental snapshots, we are able to programmatically take backups and are able to restore in minutes instead of hours.”
Guarantee Electrical Sees the Light with Viewpoint Vista on Azure
Founded to light the 1904 World’s Fair, Guarantee Electrical is a full-service electrical contractor specializing in preconstruction, electrical engineering, electrical construction, and intelligent building systems. Guarantee Electrical relies on Viewpoint Vista's construction-specific ERP in the cloud to gain insight into construction project data, improve workflow management and allow users to access relevant data in real time.
“Across the board, business is moving to the cloud. It’s better, it’s faster, it’s more secure and it gives you more flexibility,” said Dennis Heinle, director of IT for Guarantee Electrical. “Viewpoint's vision – and move to the faster, more reliable and more scalable Azure cloud – makes perfect sense.”
To that point, this migration is not the end of the development occurring on Azure. Continued development extends our ability to:
- provide reliable performance indicators & forecasts to construction organizations struggling to understand their cash position,
- complete labor visibility to onboard them remotely, ensure proper certifications and manage their personal info,
- deliver real-time cost control & financial management capabilities that allow project corrections before it's too late to fix, and
- add transparency field & project operations management so those on the jobsite know exactly how their project is performing.
Those are among the top needs of our 8000-strong customer base and those needs are what drive Viewpoint and the extended Trimble family toward fulfilling our mission of delivering business-critical construction management solutions that connect the physical and digital worlds for our customers.